Event Off Sale: Tickets may still be available at the door.



Sat, February 11, 2017

Doors: 6:30 pm / Show: 7:30 pm

$15.00 - $20.00

Off Sale

This event is 21 and over

All Proceeds Go To The Hart Fund!

At a time when most of his contemporaries are resting on their laurels, Bobby Rush—a 50-year veteran of the stage—remains one of the most exciting and creative artists in the R&B/blues arena. Rush's live shows are without parallel, replete with costume changes and comedic sketches acted out with the assistance of his lovely female dancers. In addressing a broad range of matters of the heart, Rush adopts various onstage persona-the adoring lover, the cuckold, the boastful stud-delivering all with a knowing wink that assures the audience that he's in on the joke.

In the context of today's all too predictable and sanitized blues market, it's easy to understand why audiences new to Rush's performances often find them novel or even bewildering. Unique they are, but Rush's signifying, jesting, and double entendré jiving are at the heart of the blues, as exemplified by forbears such as Bessie Smith,Louis Jordan, and Howlin' Wolf.

Bobby Rush—it's pronounced as one three-syllable name—calls his music "folk funk," an apt description for a blend that's both decidedly modern and deeply rooted in tradition. Over the decades he has consistently updated his music by incorporating new styles-- Chicago blues, soul, funk, reggae, and hip-hop—into a fresh mix. At the same time, his original compositions often stem from his dipping into the well of folk wisdom, as exemplified by songs like "What's Good For the Goose is Good for the Gander Too."

The son of a preacher man, Bobby Rush was born Emmet Ellis, Jr.,in the north Louisiana town of Haynesville; he later adopted his stage name out of respect for his father. He built his first instrument, a primitive guitar or "diddley bow," and by his early teens he was donning a fake mustache and appearing at Deep South juke joints. In the mid-'50s he moved to Chicago, where his bands included Freddie King, Earl Hooker, and Luther Allison, and on jaunts back to his family home in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, he performed with artists including Elmore James.

Rush began working as a bandleader already as a teenager once he realized that he could control his own destiny if he owned all the equipment. His entrepreneurial flair is legendary among fellow musicians, who fondly recall his earing double pay by working in disguise as the emcee on his own gigs, and his shuffling between three gigs a night at West Side nightclubs.

Rush's popularity as a live performer in Chicago set back the development of his recording career, but he began to achieve national acclaim in 1971 following the success of his hit "Chicken Heads" on Galaxy Records. Over the next decade he recorded for labels including Jewel, Philadelphia International, Warner Brothers, and toured widely on the "chitlin circuit," the decades old network of clubs that stretches in a rough triangle between east Texas, north Florida, and Chicago.

In the early '80s Rush moved to his current home of Jackson, Mississippi, where he recorded a series of albums for the LeJam, Ichiban, and Malaco labels, and gained the title of "king of the chitlin circuit" in the wake of hits including "Sue," "Wearin' It Out," "Ain't Studdin' You," and "Hoochie Man."

In 2003 Rush fulfilled his longtime dream of forming his own label, Deep Rush, recording the CD "Undercover Lover" and capturing the magic of his live show on DVD at the club Ground Zero in Clarksdale, Mississippi. The same year his showmanship was featured in Richard Pearce's documentary film "The Road To Memphis," part of Martin Scorsese's film series "The Blues."

Rush has also demonstrated his deep blues roots in the last several years through several special recording projects on Deep Rush On 2004's "Folk Funk" he revisited the funk era on a live studio outing with guitarist Alvin Youngblood Hart, and on his most recent CD "Raw" he strips his sound down to the basics, appearing only with his guitar and harmonica. Although he still maintains a busy schedule with his band, these sessions have inspired him to make occasional solo performances, which have been wonderfully received.

In the last decade Rush has gained new audiences through performances at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and on festival stages in Europe and Japan. But catch him on an average weekend and he's just as likely to be playing to packed houses in chitlin circuit clubs in places like Nesbit, Mississippi, and Smackover, Arkansas, before mostly black, working class audiences that conventional blues wisdom suggests no longer exist.

Success in the music business often entails leaving behind the people who sustained you during your early years, but that's not a price Bobby Rush is willing to pay. As his career takes off in new directions, he's determined to keep it real, presenting the same unadulterated show as he moves from Tokyo to Smackover. Or as he explains in what has become somewhat a mantra of late, "I want to cross over, not cross out."

--Scott Barretta
When Sugaray belts out a song, you not only hear it, you feel it. The excitement in the room is palpable when he takes the stage; he is a superb vocalist and entertainer. His dynamic voice is large just like the man. With his old school vocal style, echoes of Muddy Waters, Otis Redding and Teddy Pendergrass can be heard. At 6’5” he is a big man, but he moves with grace and energy. His fluid dance steps will remind you of the Legendary James Brown.

Texas born Caron “Sugaray” Rayford began his musical career at the age of 7 singing & playing drums in church, and his gospel influence can be heard and felt in his music. Rayford's phrasing is intimate and conversational and the soulful gravel in his voice hints at his firsthand experience with hardship. He grew up in Texas, his childhood marked by poverty and loss. He remembered a sad game he played with his brothers, a competition that determined who was skinniest by counting the number of belt holes left unused. His mother struggled to raise three boys alone while battling cancer. When she died, it was a kind of relief. "She suffered and we suffered," Rayford said. "Then, we moved in with my grandmother and our lives were a lot better. We ate every day and we were in church every day, which I loved. I grew up in gospel and soul.”

His switch to contemporary music began about 12 years ago in the San Diego area, where he sang lead vocals with a R&B/Funk band called Urban Gypsys. With this band he had the privilege of sharing the stage with many notable artists such as The Average White Band, Dennis Quaid, Joe Luis Walker, Kal David, Super Diamond & Venice, to name a few. After dabbling in blues, Suga realized that the blues was where his heart and soul belonged. So after some soul searching he left the Urban Gypsys and became lead vocalist for Aunt Kizzy’z Boyz, a Temecula area blues band. Shortly after joining the band in 2004, they released their first CD “Trunk Full of Bluez”. This band was hungry and did over 200 gigs a year over the next few years and their popularity rose exponentially. Aunt Kizzy’z Boyz represented San Diego (Blues Lovers United San Diego) in Memphis Tennessee January 26th- 28th, 2006 at the International Blues Challenge (IBC), and brought home the 2nd place prize. The band began playing higher profile gigs and in 2007 released their 2nd CD “It’s Tight Like That”. In September 2008, the Boyz won the LAMN Jam Grand Slam Urban Artist of the Year title by a landslide; they beat out hundreds of competitors. The band was offered a distribution deal on the spot by RBC Records. Tabitha Berg wrote, “The band’s most valuable ingredient is that of the band’s dynamic front man Sugaray, he knows how to read and work a room. While most artists simply perform, exceptional artists are responsive to the mood of the crowd. The energy shifted when AKB took the stage, and they had the crowd on its feet within seconds.”

After moving to Los Angeles 2 years ago, Sugaray was asked to host a blues jam at Cozy’s in Sherman Oaks. It is through this venue that Sugaray has met and played with innumerable world-class musicians. Suga’s desire to explore and expand his musical vision has been nourished by these musicians. His solo career has flourished in LA.

As of May 2011, Sugaray is new lead vocalist for the Mannish Boys, who are under Delta Groove management. This international act performs 6-8 times a year and Suga joined them in Spain on July 9th at Hondarriba Blues Festival where 25,000 people were in attendance. He will be recording with The Mannish Boys in very soon and is working on his second solo CD for release 2012.

He has done studio vocals on several projects, such as the theme for Judge Joe Brown, the movie trailer City Lights and back up vocals for the band The Heavy Pets. He partnered with Chuck Kavooras, a long time LA guitarist and owner of Slide Away Studios. Chuck became the musical director of the Monday night jams. He began booking the artists for the band around Suga’s vocals and Sugaray and the CK All Stars were born. The first set of every Monday is performed by this house band, which is made up of rotating members of which are all cream of the crop musicians.
Bob Corritore is considered among the top traditional blues harmonica players on the scene today. Additionally he is the owner of the Rhythm Room, the radio show host of "Those Lowdown Blues" on KJZZ, the founder of Southwest Musical Arts Foundation, the editor and main writer of the Bob Corritore Blues Newsletter, an official endorser of Hohner harmonicas, a Keeping the Blues Alive award recipient, a grammy nominated harmonica player and producer, an honorary member of the Collectif Des Radios Blues, and a great fan of and active participant in blues music in general.
Kim Wilson (born January 6, 1951) is an American blues singer and harmonica player. He is best known as the lead vocalist and frontman for The Fabulous Thunderbirds on two hit songs of the 1980s; "Tuff Enuff", and "Wrap It Up." Wilson was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1951, but he grew up in Goleta, California, where he sometimes went by the stage name of "Goleta Slim." He started with the blues in the late 1960s and was tutored by people like Muddy Waters, Jimmie Rogers, Eddie Taylor, Albert Collins, George "Harmonica" Smith, Luther Tucker and Pee Wee Crayton and was influenced by harmonica players like Little Walter, James Cotton, Big Walter Horton, Slim Harpo and Lazy Lester. Before he moved to Austin, Texas in 1974, he was the leader of the band Aces, Straights and Shuffles in Minneapolis, Minnesota; this band released one single. In Austin he formed The Fabulous Thunderbirds with guitarist Jimmie Vaughan, and they became the house band at the blues club, Antone's, owned by Clifford Antone. Muddy Waters called Wilson, "The greatest harmonica player since Little Walter". Wilson continues to perform up to 300 concert dates per year at blues music festivals and clubs all over the world, both as leader of The Fabulous Thunderbirds and with the Kim Wilson Blues Allstars. His powerful style of blues harp playing has been described as "loaded with the textures of a full-blown horn section."
With his hybrid of roots rock, blues, and sacred steel, Florida native Damon Fowler started wowing audiences with his musical exploits as a teenager, building a reputation as one of the hottest young players on the scene. Adding songwriting and vocal skills to his repertoire over the years has brought him many accolades, with critics extolling his originality and maturity as well as his technical guitar expertise. In last year's "Best of Tampa" poll, Creative Loafing magazine named him "Best Guitarist... And Slide Guitarist... and Lap Steel Player... And Dobro Player."
Venue Information:
The Rhythm Room
1019 E. Indian School Road
Phoenix, AZ, 85014